• The ENJC Wishes you a Happy Chanukah!

    The ENJC Wishes you a Happy Chanukah!

  • Welcome to the ENJC

    Welcome to the ENJC

    The ENJC is a Conservative, egalitarian synagogue of approximately 300 families. We are truly multi-generational; our youngest members are infants, our oldest are in their nineties. On any Shabbat, you can find three generations of the same family in our pews. We offer something for everyone by meeting our members' needs for spiritual, cultural and social connection to the Jewish people. We are known as the “haimish shul,” so visit and spend a Friday evening or Shabbat morning with us and see for yourself!
  • Sisterhood's Chanukah Gift Swap

    Sisterhood's Chanukah Gift Swap

    The Sisterhood Chanukah Gift Swap is a tradition that all women of the ENJC enjoy! Bring a $20 wrapped gift, and an unwrapped children's gift to donate for the holidays. The program is open to all ENJC ladies- bring your friends!
  • Join us for a Pancake Breakfast

    Join us for a Pancake Breakfast

    The ENJC is holding a Pancake Fundraiser! Join us Sunday, January 13, during the hours of 8:30 - 11:30 am for pancakes, fruit, juice, coffee and tea. Adults: $10, Kids under 12: $5. Please RSVP by January 8 to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Czech Torah Webpage Project

    Czech Torah Webpage Project

    As owners of a Czech Torah Scroll, the ENJC joins a community of over 1000 scroll-holders around the world. These scrolls miraculously survived the Shoah and were brought to London in 1964. On Tuesday evening, February 5, 2019 our scroll will be a part of the first gathering and procession of Czech scrolls at Temple Emanu-El in New York City. Read of the history of the ENJC Czech scroll by clicking on the Read More button. Read More
  • Rabbi Silverman's Adult Education Course

    Rabbi Silverman's Adult Education Course

    Derekh eretz is the code of behavior that binds us to each other as human beings and as Jews. It means acting decorously and with respect toward all. Students explore the development of morality as a key component to holiness and how it becomes a fundamental value in Judaism in the contexts of governing, wisdom, emotional balance, sexual and gender matters, public debate and more. Classes meet Thursday evenings, from 7:15 until minyan. Classes: 11/29, 12/13, 12/20, 3/7, 3/28, 4/11, 5/9, 5/23, 6/6, 6/20.
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Deuteronomy begins with the statement, Hoyil Moshe Baer et Hatorah Hazeh, explaining that Moses explicated a Torah document in his last month of life, reviewing it and reflecting upon its meaning. Interestingly, the commentator Nachalat Tzi notes that the word "Baer" should really be the infinitive of "to explicate," leading to a rich additional meaning: that Moses himself had become a "be'er," a wellspring–a Maayan mitgaber, an everflowing fountain of understanding and insight into the profundity of Torah and a fountain to express it to the people.

Look at how far Moses had come, from a person who stuttered and felt he couldn't communicate! He actually exhibits that fear of public speaking. Being summoned by God himself at the burning bush, for most of us, would have been sufficient inspiration. But Moses argues with God, "God, please send someone else..." While here, in Deuteronomy, we see a Moses who is actually a co-author of the fifth book of the Torah, which is the written transcript of his explanatory comments before the people in his last month of life. It makes us ponder that sometimes it's very important to break through perceived limitations no matter how much we hold on to them.

We sometimes have no choice. There are things that make us uncomfortable and situations we avoid. We have notions of our own limitations and we proceed in life pretty much trying to avoid them. We cannot but take them into account. Yet that does not mean that we should be defined by them and ruled by them.

Actually we have words for this, which is a bit of psychobabble, but we call them our fears and our phobias and our "I'd rather nots." An internet site that Google brought me to tells of the six most common of phobias. I'll stop at six because on the seventh we rest! The first most common phobia is mysophobia, the fear of germs. People who succumb to it look like they have OCD, but actually they just have mysophobia. The second most common phobia is pteramahamophobia, or fear of flying. Most of these folks cannot be coaxed onto a plane for even the most important family reunions. Then there is the socialphobic, who has a fear of social gatherings and especially public speaking. Such folks are found inside their homes most of the time. There is the tryptanophobic, the one who fears doctors appointments and especially needles, and the astarophobic who fears thunderstorms. I had a dog like that once, which was so phobic that it ran under the bed, shaking, during thunderstorms. Finally, we end on the six most common of phobias–the cynophobic, who fears man's best friend, the family dog.

Often, people who have severe manifestations of these phobias are doomed to being limited by them, preferring not to confront them. But most of us are somewhere in the more midrange of the spectrum and need, bluntly, the "courage to confront them." Scientists have shown that many of these conditions can be cured by the method of successive approximation–the facing of lesser to eventually more intense examples of the phobia. For instance, with a fear of snakes, folks start with stuffed animal snakes, then eventually rubber ones, and then finally the courageous at heart are ready to encounter and hold a boa constrictor. A willing heart can hopefully one day master fear and reluctance.

Moses is a case in point. This was a guy who didn't like speaking in public. "God," he said numerous times, "I am slow of speech, I stutter, I am heavy of tongue." God's responds with, "Take Aaron with you and he will speak for you." Moses reluctantly agrees and then grows into the job. First he has Aaron as a spokesman, then he lets Aaron hold and use his rod while Moses himself speaks, then Moses has the rod and speaks without Aaron there, and then he speaks without the rod and commands respect. During the plague of locusts, he not only speaks, but by darkness his rod touches heaven. Moses becomes not only great in the eyes of the Hebrews, but he is eventually more greatly respected by the Egyptians than even their Pharaoh. By the time of the Book of Deuteronomy, Moses cannot help but wax eloquent. He's a cross between Shakespeare and Churchill. Two-thirds of the Book is Moses's compelling oratory. He cannot stop talking and motivating. 

Heres a poem I wrote, inspired by this evolution:

Moses at first was so reticent
he claimed that he couldn't speak.
He hemmed and he hawed, how could he present?
He had no charisma or cheek.

God said 'enough, Aaron's your mouthpiece.
I'll tell him just the right words to say.
Just take this miracle rod at least
when to Pharaoh the visit you pay.

Moses agrees but soon we shall see
that Aaron's the one with the rod.
Moses is talking quite capably
a switcheroo that is quite odd.

Soon Aaron is along for the ride;
the staff it's not mentioned at all.
And by the fifth plague Aaron's not by his side,
Moses as leader stands tall.

By locusts Moses is raising his staff,
by darkness his hand touches the sky.
At the start, sure he's nervous, his speech full of gaffes
and now get a load of this guy!

At first Moses stutters and mutters,
for talking he hasn't the bent.
But by the fifth book, he elegantly utters,
he's compelling and eloquent.

It gets us thinking, does it not bro,
that our potential we often abort,
when we limit ourselves by saying "no"
when at times we are selling ourselves short.

Learn from Moses that sometimes hard toil
is the way to excel and exceed.
Low expectations are so often our foil
they stop us in way's we'd succeed.

To be honest to ourselves is to admit that we can't do everything well. But our self-imposed limitations so often keep us from even trying. May all of us take stock of our assumed and ingrained limitations. Perhaps we will ask, "Is it really so," and then work on these phobias and limitations. May we, like Moses, blossom into something we never knew we could be, by trying and by working at our phobias, foibles and false assumptions, and let us say, Amen.

Leadership

  • Ian Silverman, Rabbi
  • Frank Brecher, ENJC President
  • A Minyan Plea from Rabbi Silverman

View current news articles, commentary, videos and more having an impact on Jewish culture, politics and religion at Rabbi Silverman's Sites to See
J
oin us for our Tu B'
Shvat Seder

On the 15th of Shvat, we have the privilege of celebrating the holiday of Tu B’Shvat, the New Year of Trees. Traditionally, Tu B’Shvat marks the date at which the earliest blooming trees of Israel, the almond, or shkediah trees, begin their new fruit-bearing cycle, with sap beginning to rise and buds to appear. (Halacha instructs that a tree must be four years old before one can dedicate its fruits and then consume them.) The Kabbalists of Northern Israel established a “seder,” in which trees and fruits, which the rabbis associated with the Jewish people and the Land of Israel, were celebrated. As of the last century, Tu B’Shvat became connected with development and expansion of Israel’s forests and the greening of the semi-arid slopes of the Judaean Hills. Note that what is a fiscal legal holiday has been transformed into a more general celebration of nature.

Many today are of the opinion that we must broaden the significance of Tu B’Shvat beyond its current
Israel-centric scope. We surely must continue a glorification of the natural habitat of Israel. And certainly the holiday takes on even greater cogency in view of the recent arson attacks on natural conservations and farmlands in the South, with acres of land going up in smoke from the incendiary “kite” and balloon bombs flown into Israel by Hamas terrorists. But Tu B’Shvat should encompass a broader agenda.

A recent report by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and by our own Federal Government is alarming. The citizens of this planet are doing damage that will soon be irreversible, if not lessened and checked in the next decade. I used to think these warnings sounded a lot like Chicken Little. However, it appears that all of us need to understand the gravity of these reports. Oil spills and the dumping of plastic and debris in our oceans threatens our marine life. The run-off of fertilizer into our waters has resulted in brown tides and the blanching of coral reefs, which is killing off even more sea life. The carbon dioxide emissions of industrial nations (China and our United States) will raise ocean temperatures another 2 degrees by the year 2050, causing massive coastal damage due to flooding. And our Federal Government is wrestling with itself policy-wise, as many in the EPA and Trump Administration are unwilling to implement policies that should be dictated by their own scientific findings.

Rabbi Yohanan, in the Talmud, said that if the Messiah comes while you are planting a tree, you should first finish planting and then go out and greet the Messiah. This is because neither God nor the Messiah will rescue us from ourselves. In a midrash, God says to Adam in the garden “Keep it and tend it, because if you ruin it, there will be none to repair it.” Safeguarding nature is our task and our task alone. Our agricultural laws, in the book of Leviticus, stress again and again that we are tenants on God’s good earth, and we have an obligation to prevent it from exhausting itself. Let us utilize the consciousness of Tu B’Shvat to redouble our efforts on behalf of the environment, not only in our nation but in the Land of Israel and for the planet as whole. Recycle with a vengeance. Plant trees in Israel and in your back yard. Consider purchasing electric cars and solar for your homes. And, make sure to reinforce your thinking and spirit with our annual Tu B’Shvat Seder, which this year will be January 18th, immediately after services. You and your children are invited to enjoy the fruits and grains once again, and to reflect on our precious natural elements.

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Last month we evaluated the significance of events at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh and mourned the loss of our fellow Jews engaged in prayer. Naturally, we turn to our own synagogue and ask questions of ourselves. "What are we doing to protect ourselves from a similar attack?" "Am I safe at ENJC?"

Of course these are the right questions to ask. For those who attended the rally at the Dix Hills Jewish Center, you heard the Suffolk County Police Commissioner discuss a program called SHIELD, Suffolk County Police Department's Counter-Terrorism and Anti-Crime program. Over the past two years, Rabbi Silverman and members of our Security Committee have attended Suffolk County Police Department's "Safety in the Sanctuary" active shooter seminar. Based on this seminar, with visits by Suffolk Police Department's Counter Terrorism Liaison to the ENJC and our own initiatives, we have taken a number of steps to enhance the security in and around the building.

Some of our actions are clearly visible, while others are not. We have added high intensity LED lighting around the exterior of the building–the first phase of our lighting upgrade. We replaced all the classroom doors with steel doors, and we have installed security cameras throughout the building to help us monitor and track suspicious activity. We are in the process of developing a Building Emergency Action Plan to address emergencies that include fires, bomb threats and active shooter situations. Once finalized, portions of the plan will be shared with clergy, staff and ENJC members so that everyone understands their role in various situations.

The one thing we have to recognize is that physical security is not simply a matter of installing locks. Locks only work when properly utilized. In our case, the open door policy, whereby we unlock doors during services and events MUST come to an end. The building can no longer be freely open to anyone that walks onto the property. Although no one wants to wait at the door to be let in, the safety and security of our members and guests must come first. We must be alert when opening doors and be aware of who is coming into the building. Key fobs will be issued to the entire congregation in order to control access to the building. More information will be provided as we move forward with this project.

This past June, members of our Security Committee applied for a grant from the New York State Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, and I'm proud to announce that we were successful in our efforts and were awarded a grant to be used to further strengthen our security posture. The effort to utilize the grant will take time as we identify and prioritize the needs of the building and our congregants.

The most important message I can share with you is that you are safe at the ENJC. We have taken a number of steps to enhance safety and will be taking many more in the future. Together, we all play an important role in our safety and security. Meetings will be held to train clergy, staff and congregants in emergency action plans and we will continue to work with the Police Department to increase our security measures and training. As you hear all the time on the news, "If you see something, say something." These words hold true for the ENJC as well. I encourage you to continue asking questions and to offer suggestions. If you'd like to contact our security committee, please email them at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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A Plea to the Congregation from Rabbi: Support Our Minyan and Worship With Us On ShabbatWe Need Everyone To Pitch In

There is an old joke about a young man who walks into the High Holiday Service and is greeted by the usher. The usher asks if he has paid his dues. He replies, “I’m not a member. I’m just here to give my grandfather a message.” After a short reflection, the usher tells him, “Okay but don’t let me catch you praying.”

This is about hoping that we will catch you praying. We want you to pray in our lovely Friday night and Saturday morning Shabbat services, our brief evening weekday and our Sunday morning services. To not pray, you see, is no laughing matter, for you miss something significant by not making prayer a part of your life. You miss helping our synagogue fulfill its basic function to comfort our mourners, and you miss in our communal effort to celebrate the world at large, the Torah and God, each Shabbat.

Rabbi Hana tells us that in the Talmud, the prophet Bilaam, seeing Israel’s true power and majesty, blesses not only the tents and dwellings, but the streams and rivers. Why are streams and rivers part of the description of Israel? To stress that just as streams and rivers purify, so too does Torah study and prayer purify us. But I would add a second element: Just as streams and rivers are the circulatory system of a geographic region, so too is prayer the circulatory system of the Jewish people. Prayer nourishes us and uplifts the spirit. It allows us to move from station to station as the days fly by, and it allows us to mark our journey through the calendar year, from Rosh Hashana to Shavuot and back again. Our minyanim are the pulse of our institution. Prayer is heart work and each of us must keep our communal heart pumping.

Our liturgy offers multiple reasons for prayer: to express gratitude to God, to praise God, to petition Him– Prayer seeks to establish a connection, a dialogue, with the transcendent force we call God. Prayer affords us different things at different times. It can foster a sense of reflection and perspective. It roots us to our ancestors. At other times it offers us a sense of renewal, recommitment and re-involvement. But most of all, we pray for two reasons: 1) To provide the pulse of our Kehilla Kedosha, our Holy Community. In so doing, we take care of the needs of those who are grieving, provide a format to hear a little Torah and to celebrate our children and fellow congregants; and 2) We provide proof to God that our hearts are still open. A midrash tells us that each of our souls is a God’s candle. When we bob up and down while praying, we are mimicking the flickering flame. Show God you are still flickering, in spite of disappointments and failures, in spite of efforts of enemies to crush us, in spite of old habits, in spite of all our heart’s wrestling. God hears the prayers of a broken heart, but also the happy heart. Keep all lines open and relish the heavenly connection, ushering God’s presence as a part of our minyan.

We are in urgent need. We need more effort from every single member. Many of us resolve, each new year, to exercise on a regular basis. In this new year of 2019, exercise your soul muscle on a regular basis too! Let us catch you praying! This year make it your resolution to attend once or more a week, so that our minyanim will be transformed from challenged to a vibrant pulse.

Minyan takes place each weekday at 8:15 pm, at 7:30 pm the first Friday of each month and 8:00 pm on other Friday evenings, at 9:15 am Shabbat morning, and 9:00am on Sundays

Read More

Services

  • This Week
  • Weekly

Week of Monday, December 10

Mon-Thurs, 12/10-12/13
Weekday Minyan – 8:15 pm

Friday, December 14
Evening Shabbat Service – 8:00 pm

Saturday, December 8
Shabbat Morning Service – 9:15 am
Family Service – 10:30 am

Sunday, December 2
Morning Minyan – 9:00 am
Evening Minyan – 8:15 pm

 

Read the Rabbinical Assembly statement on the Attack on the Tree of Life Synagogue HERE.

 

 

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Monday-Thursday
Weekday Minyan: 8:15 pm

Friday Shabbat Services
8:00 pm (7:30 First Friday of the month)

Saturday Shabbat Services
9:15 am

Sunday Morning Minyan
9:00 am

Sunday Evening Minyan
8:15 pm

Happy Chanukah!

 

Celebrating Chanukah

  • 12/3, Commack Corners

  • 12/3, Commack Corners

  • 12/3, Commack Corners

  • Fire Juggler, 12/3

  • 12/3, Commack Corners

  • Chanukah at the Harbor, Northport, 12/6

  • Chanukah at the Harbor, Northport, 12/6

  • Chanukah at the Harbor, Northport, 12/6

Candlelighting

Contact Us

The East Northport Jewish Center
328 Elwood Road
East Northport, NY, 11731  

Phone: 631-368-6474
Fax: 631-266-2910
Religious School Office: 631-368-0875

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Religious School: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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